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|KCMag.com: MEMORIES IN THE MAKING|
These experiences might not fit underneath the Christmas tree, but they are gifts that will last a lifetime in the memories of those who receive them.
If they’ve been really good: If visions of sugar plums still dance in your children’s heads, you can find everything they’ll need at Dancewear Express (13151 State Line Road). From ballet shoes ($16.50) to leotards ($18) to tights ($11.50), your child will be looking like Clara or the Prince in no time. Don’t forget the tutu ($11).
Editor’s Pick: Having been inspired by Kansas City’s finest performers, your budding prima ballerina will want dance lessons. The spring sessions for the KC Ballet School at the new Todd Bolender Center (500 W. Pershing Road) will begin January 4. Costs of classes depend upon on the age and skill level of the child (kcballet.org/school).
If they’ve been really good: There’s nothing quite like being a tourist in your own town. May we suggest a night at The Raphael with a Plaza view (325 Ward Parkway)? A romantic suite and a classy dinner at Chaz against the holiday backdrop is sure to give them a new appreciation for living in Kansas City (rooms start at $189 per night).
Editor’s Pick: Get a reindeer’s view of the Plaza, and relish the lights from high above the city. Planes take off from the Wheeler Downtown Airport (300 N.W. Richards Road) for a 30-minute, breathtaking view of Kansas City ($75 per person).
If he’s been really good: Help him take his bogie to a birdie with new clubs from Golf MD (11231 Strang Line Road, Lenexa),
Editor’s Pick: When the winter winds make local courses too chilly for a round, the California sun calls. According to Tim Burke at
If they’ve been really good: Give your aspiring zoologist access to the experts at the Zoo’s Safari Day Camps. Children
Editor’s Pick: Keep Nikita and the other zoo animals company all year long with a 2012 FOTZ family membership ($79). Members will also have free or discounted access to more than 150 zoos and aquariums across the country and in Canada.
If she’s been really good: A good cook is only as good as the knives in her holster. For knives that make the cut, the experts at Ambrosi Brothers Cutlery (3023 Main St.) suggest Wusthof knives. Buy a wood block and fill it with a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a carving knife and one more for boning ($300). Your cook will also want a paring knife and a good pair of kitchen shears. For a stellar steak knife, consider a Santoku, a Japanese style chef knife made for cutting vegetables ($90).
Editor’s Pick: Sure, there are cooking classes––or there’s learning from a Kansas City chef in the comfort of your own home. Ask your favorite chef or consider a call to Le Fou Frog (400 E. Fifth St.). Can you imagine anything more delightful than a cooking class from Carter Holton, the extraordinary pastry chef from the French eatery? Your culinista will learn to make classic French dishes such as tartine, pâte à choux and crêpes. If you’re lucky, Carter will sing (prices vary based on duration of class).
If they’ve been really good: Experience the border war at the 120th football matchup of the Missouri Tigers and the
Editor’s Pick: For all the little Michael Jordans, we like the College Basketball Experience at the Sprint Center (1401 Grand Blvd). Better yet, make it a private party. Kids can shoot hoops, learn a lay-up and get behind the mic as a sportscaster. Bring 25 of your child’s friends and receive a group rate of $6 per child (purchase tickets online at collegebasketballexperience.com).
If he’s been really good: If James Bond gave up baccarat for Texas Hold ‘Em, then we’ll bet your man wants to follow suit. Help him brush up his skills at Harrah’s (1 Riverboat Drive, North Kansas City) with a game buy-in. The casino holds a tournament every Sunday, and twice a month they host qualifying rounds for the World Series of Poker (entry fee is $200).
Editor’s Pick: There’s nothing like a great cigar to set the mood for guys’ poker night. Give him a set of Baccarat Havana Sel Luchadores (25 for $111.63) or El Rico Habano Gran Habenero Deluxe (25 for $145) from Diebel’s Sportsmens Gallery (426 Ward Parkway; 4829 W. 119th St., Overland Park). Don’t forget a masculine-looking humidor (starting at $24.99) for safekeeping.
If they’ve been really good: Visit local artist Irma Starr in her studio, and see how she creates her 17th century English slipware pottery ornaments (816-753-0316; by appointment only). Irma’s work is carried at the Nelson-Atkins and Smithsonian gift shops.
Editor’s Pick: For anyone with an eye for art, joining the Society for Fellows is a must. Society members are treated to one of the best holiday parties of the year at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak St.). Partygoers are serenaded by the Dickens Carolers while enjoying delicious food and carriage rides around the reflecting pool (memberships start at $1,000).
When they’ve been really good: Nothing could be cuter than a pomeranian in a poncho, a beagle wearing booties or a saluki in a rain slicker (starting at $30). If your dog is too cool to wear cute clothes, then a stylish collar with a matching leash is a must ($62). You’ll find it all in every price range at Doggie Style Bowtique (1503 Westport Road).
Editor’s Pick: Pets seamlessly blend into the fabric of your family, so feature Fido front and center in the next family portrait. Photographer extraordinaire Gary Rohman (816-221-4334) will capture a one-of-a-kind memory of your furry friend. Go online (mojopets.com) to see examples of pet portraits worth hanging over the mantel (starting at $49).
If she’s been really good: Many Kansas City women have fawned over the beautiful dresses designed by Laura McGrew,
Editor’s Pick: She has the perfect dress and sweet-smelling perfume; now she needs a place to show them off.